Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. These are the words of the greatest boxer who ever lived – Muhammad Ali.
In his 74 years of life on this earth, Muhammad Ali had a significant impact on the world. He’s one of those once-in-a-generation icons who got the most out of every day he spent on this earth.
He became one of the greatest boxers of all time by developing extreme self-discipline and outworking all of his opponents.
He inspired millions around the world with his strong political beliefs and was a key figure at the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s.
He did what deep down all aspire to do – leave a legacy that’s bigger than ourselves.
Now, among many of his other admirable qualities, Ali had a way with words too. He was extremely charismatic which is a big reason why so many people were captivated by him.
One moment he’d be boasting about his own abilities and then the next he was delivering wisdom about the realities of achieving success and the importance of peace and hope.
In this article, we’ll unpack some of this wisdom by covering some of the best Muhammad Ali quotes that will motivate you to leave your own legacy.
Top 10 Muhammad Ali Quotes
It’s hard to formulate a list of Ali’s most hard hitting quotes because he always had valuable insight to offer.
That being said, there are a few quotes that really resonate with me that I’m going to share first. In my personal opinion, these are the top 10 Muhammad Ali quotes that really deliver the most hard-hitting messages.
- “Service to others is the rent you pay for the room here on earth.”
- “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”
- “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”
- “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
- “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
- “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
- “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”
- “We can’t be brave without fear.”
- “If my mind can conceive it. And my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.”
- “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
More Inspirational Muhammad Ali Quotes
Even though we’ve just covered the best of the best from Ali, there’s still plenty more to go.
Ali loved to talk whenever he was in front of a microphone. I mean that in the best way possible, because when he wasn’t hilariously intimidating his opponent he was offering up inspirational wisdom about life that we can all learn from.
Let’s continue this list by covering more of Ali’s best quotes.
- “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”
- “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”
- “What you are thinking is what you are becoming.”
- “Only a man who knows what it’s like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with an extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”
- “Wisdom is knowing when you can’t be wise.”
- “I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believed in the goodness of others.”
- “Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.”
- “The greatest victory in life is to rise above the material things that we once valued most.”
- “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”
- “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”
- “We spend more time learning how to make a living than we do learning how to make a life.”
- “Others may know pleasure, but pleasure is not happiness. It has no more importance than a shadow following a man.”
- “Whatever the challenge was, however unattainable the goal may have seemed, I never let anyone talk me out of believing in myself.”
- “I am grateful for my victories, but I am especially grateful for my losses, because they only made me work harder.”
Muhammad Ali Quotes On Training & Discipline
One of the biggest reasons why Ali rose to the top of the boxing world is because he was the hardest worker in the sport.
He wasn’t shy about letting people know that he was outworking them, and he could back it up too. Ali was the perfect embodiment of a principlee that we all know to be true – if you want to achieve your goals and dreams, you need to become obsessed with the process.
Ali was obsessed with the process. He carried himself with confidence because he knew that no one could match the blood, sweat, and tears that he had put into his training.
If you’re willing to be more disciplined than those going after the same things as you, you’ll excel past them while they call it luck. Here are some of the best Muhammad Ali quotes on training and self-discipline.
- “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”
- “The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road; long before I dance under those lights.”
- “Rest but never quit. Even the sun has a sinking spell each evening. But it always rises the next morning.”
- “I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count.”
- “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
- “No one starts out on top. You have to work your way up.”
- “My style, my stamina, my system were molded down in the basement of a church in East End.”
- “What keeps me going is goals.”
- “It’s in my blood to be around people when I was training.”
- “All through my life, I have been tested. My will has been tested, my courage has been tested, my strength has been tested. Now my patience and endurance are being tested.”
- “When you want to talk about who made me, talk to me. Who made me is ME.”
- “I run on the long road before I dance under the lights.”
Words From Muhammad Ali About Hope
If there’s one common characteristic that great leaders have in common, it’s that they inspire hope in their fellow individuals.
Muhammad Ali was no different. During a time when African-Americans were treated horrendously, his accomplishments inspired hope into a generation of people that had been longing for it.
But it wasn’t just his actions that hit home with people, it was his words too. Here are some of the best Muhammad Ali quotes on hope.
- “Life is a gamble. You can get hurt, but people die in plane crashes, lose their arms and legs in car accidents; people die every day. Same with fighters; some die, some get hurt, and some go on. You just don’t let yourself believe it will happen to you.”
- “A man who has no imagination has no wings.”
- “When we devote all of our actions to a spiritual goal, everything that we do becomes a prayer.”
- “Even the greatest was once a beginner, don’t be afraid to take that first step.”
- “The one without dreams is the one without wings.”
- “Recognize how every moment of our journey is an important part of the growth of our soul.”
- “I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times. Who was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him, and who helped as many people as he could. As a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what. As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”
- “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
- “You lose nothing when fighting for a cause.”
- “I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.”
- “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.”
- “When it comes to love, compassion, and other feelings of the heart, I am rich.”
- “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”
- “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”
- “Think well of all, be patient with all, and try to find the good in all.”
- “I’d like them to say he took a few cups of love, he took one tablespoon of patience, a teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter, one pinch of concern, and then, he mix willingness with happiness, he added lots of faith, and he stirred it up well, then he spreads it over his span of a lifetime, and he served it to each and every deserving person he met.’
That wraps up this list of the best Muhammad Ali quotes ever spoken. Which one of these quotes resonated with you the most?
Muhammad Ali is the perfect example of what it means to get the most out of life. He lived courageously and confidently – striving towards his goals and making a difference along the way.
He didn’t get seduced by the comfort of the easy path in life, he made tough choices and believed in himself enough to handle whatever consequences he faced.
He dedicated his life to mastering his craft and inspiring the people around him.
Each one of you reading this has the potential to do the same if you’re willing to dig deep and find the courage necessary to live out your true purpose. Here’s to the greatest!